By Iliana Magra
Visitors to the Benaki Museum in Athens no longer have to fill their photo galleries with snapshots of the Museum’s exhibits, taking up precious storage space on their smartphones. Now, they can carry those photos with them all the time, along with the accompanying information, stored and grouped on their phones via the ArtVolt app, a digital application similar to Vivino or Shazam. Developed by George Stamboulis, the Benaki Museum is the first museum in Greece to sign a cooperation agreement with the app.
“The Benaki Museum was the first museum that wanted to show its progressive side, placing emphasis on the future and digital technologies,” says Stamboulis. Initially, the collaboration only concerned the Museum of Greek Culture. As of yesterday, however, the ArtVolt app can also be used in The Ghika Gallery, the Yannis Pappas Studio and the Museum of Islamic Art. “I feel good,” beams Stamboulis, “because we’ll have the opportunity to offer visitors – both Greek and foreign – a remarkable experience.”
Stamboulis places particular emphasis on the essence of the experience that ArtVolt offers, especially for foreign visitors, noting that via the application the information – not only the information of every exhibit, but also the information that concerns the artist and their related works, as well as information on the Museum’s upcoming activities and events – will travel beyond Greece’s borders. “It’s an opportunity for foreign visitors to take their memories of Greece back home with them, an opportunity for the promotion of Greek art,” he adds.
Following the Benaki Museum, ArtVolt signed cooperation agreements with the B & M Theocharakis Foundation for the Fine Arts and Music and the Museum of Cycladic Art. The application is also available in many of Athens’ art galleries, such as the Zoumboulakis Galleries and the Breeder Gallery, while the first gallery to collaborate with ArtVolt was the DioHoria Gallery. “The shortcoming we saw in the market is now seen by others,” Stamboulis continues, noting – and stressing the contribution and vision of both Haris Siampanis and Aggeliki Mpoura– that the Benaki Museum understood the need that the application fills.
Stampoulis believes that more collaborations with other notable Greek museums will soon follow. “We feel a sense of pride knowing that we’re able to solve a problem – the fact that we forget the beautiful things we see every day and don’t save them – that people have always faced in museums,” he muses, “and at the same time help them love art and learn more about it.”
This article was previously published in Greek at kathimerini.gr